Strolling among the captivating automobiles at the car show, car aficionados encounter a few icons that really define the Australian automotive industry. From the Holden to the Ford Falcon and the Valiant Charger, Aussie automobiles come in new, restored, and customised versions to impress a diverse range of buyers. Ford Motor Company was the first major manufacturer to enter the Aussie market in 1925, but it was the 1896 steam-powered Phaeton followed by the petrol-powered Tarrant in 1901 that really fuelled the public's interest in automobiles.
General Motors Holden
Prior to 1948, Holden Motor Body Builders, Ltd., produced auto bodies for a variety of American automakers. In 1931, General Motors purchased Holden and formed General Motors Holden, Ltd. Although the company continued to manufacture auto bodies for American companies, the Australian government began to encourage an Australian automotive industry after World War II. Ford Motor Company's designs were the government's first choice, but Holden required less government assistance. As a result, Holden developed and produced the first all-Australian cars.
Australia's first domestic mass produced car was the 1948 Holden 48-215. Commonly known as the FX, the unofficial designation originally referred to the updated suspension on the 1953 model. This sedan provided the base model for the 1951 50-2106 coupe utility vehicle known across Australia as the "ute". It is a pickup-style workhorse that a farmer could drive to church on Sunday and then to market on Monday.
The full-size Kingswood is available as a sedan, station wagon, panel van, and coupe utility vehicle. The versatile car replaced the Holden Special trim in 1968. Commonly purchased by private and government agencies, it has served as a police car, taxi, and government vehicle. The 1980 to 1984 sitcom "Kingswood Country" derived its name from the main character's love of the Holden Kingswood, although the car never actually appeared on the show.
1968 HK Monaro
Coinciding with the development of muscle cars overseas, the two-door Monaro coupe is the first Holden vehicle to feature a Chevrolet V8 engine. The sleek lines of the first generation Monaro, produced from 1968 to 1971, still attract car enthusiasts. Wheels magazine voted the HK Monaro as 1968's Car of the Year.
1978 VB Commodore
Replacing the larger Kingswood sedan in 1978, the mid-size Commodore fit right in when the 1979 oil crisis forced auto manufacturers to produce smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles. Holden first began work on a smaller vehicle in 1973 and based it on a combination of features taken from the Opel Senator and Opel Rekord models. Manufactured as a mid-size vehicle from 1978 to 1988 and as a full-size vehicle from 1988 to the present, the reliable Commodore continues to fill parking lots and driveways across Australia.
Chrysler Australia Valiant
The first R-series Valiant, which was a locally manufactured Plymouth Valiant, rolled off Chrysler Australia's assembly line in 1962. Available with the 225 slant six engine and three-speed manual transmission, the Valiant's power and performance quickly gained fans amongst Aussie car enthusiasts. By May 1963, the first Australian Valiants rolled out of Chrysler's South Australian plant.
1971 Chrysler Valiant Charger
Honoured with the 1971 Australian Wheels Car of the Year Award, the sleek muscle car features eight trims with engine capacities that range from 3.5 litres to 5.6 litres. The Valiant Charger dominated New Zealand's Benson & Hedges 1,000 kilometre race from 1971 through 1979.
Ford Motor Company of Australia's Falcon was the first real competition for the Holden. Lower, longer, and wider than the Holden, the 1960 Falcon is a four-door sedan with room for six passengers. The Falcon's styling evolved over the years from sporty models with aggressive 1970's styling to the smooth lines that characterise the 21st century's automotive styling. Although the Falcon remains in production in 2014, Ford has announced plans to close the manufacturing facility in 2016 after 56 years of automobile production.
How to buy cars on eBay
If you want to drive your own iconic Aussie car, the search process is simple on eBay. Simply type the make, model, and year of the car that interests you into the search bar conveniently located on every page. Most of the listings include photographs and detailed descriptions of each vehicle. Refine your search by adding colour and other specific details, such as engine size or transmission type. After selecting your own Australian automotive icon, you may want to take a peek at OEM and aftermarket parts and accessories to help you give the vehicle a personal touch.